Milken Community High School

Coordinates: 34°07′31.91″N 118°28′40.38″W / 34.1255306°N 118.4778833°W / 34.1255306; -118.4778833

Milken Community High School
Logo mchs.png
15800 Zeldins' Way
Bel Air, Los Angeles, CA, 90049
Type Private, coeducational 7-12
Motto Developing students with sharp minds, generous hearts, and kind souls
Religious affiliation(s) Jewish
Established 1990
CEEB Code 051727
Principal Roger Fuller (Upper School)
Sarah Shulkind (Middle School)
Head of school Jason Ablin
Faculty approx. 120
Enrollment approx. 750
Color(s) Blue and white         
Mascot Wildcats (athletics) MilkenKnights (robotics)
Newspaper The Roar
Yearbook 'Visions'
Milken Community High School

Milken Community High School, colloquially Milken, is a private Jewish High School. It is located on Mulholland Drive in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles, California.

Though long affiliated with Stephen S. Wise Temple, a Reform congregation, the school is officially non-denominational.

The school's middle school spans grades 7 through 8, while the upper school spans 9 through 12. Currently, about 200 students are enrolled in the middle school, while 600 students are enrolled in the upper school, making it the largest Jewish day school in the United States.[citation needed]



The school began as the Golda Meir School and was renamed the Einstein Academy. When the school became affiliated with Stephen S. Wise Temple, it was renamed Stephen S. Wise High School. After a large donation from Lowell Milken & Michael Milken's Milken Family Foundation the school was named Milken Community High School.

The Upper School was held in temporary trailers, on the lot where the new Middle School now stands, from 1994 to 1998 until the current Upper School campus was built in 1998. Until the Middle School campus was completed in 2009, the Middle School occupied temporary trailers on the parking lot of the Bel Air Presbyterian Church from 1981 to 2008.

The Middle School and Upper School have historically had the same name, yet after the completion of the new Middle School campus in 2009, the Middle School was officially renamed the David and Hillevi Saperstein Middle School of Milken Community High School after a subsequent donation from David and Hillevi Saperstein, while the Upper School remained the Milken Community High School Upper School.

On March 25, 2011, Milken Community High School and Stephen S. Wise Temple announced that the school would become independent from the temple, effective July 1, 2012.[1]


The academic departments are English, Social Sciences, Science, Mathematics, Jewish Studies, Hebrew, World Languages (Spanish, Latin, Chinese,French), Health, Information Technology and Media Studies, Physical Education, Visual Arts, Theatre Arts, and Music. All departments offer elective courses.


All students are required to take four years of Hebrew, of which 18 different levels are offered. Four years of Jewish studies are also required, offered at regular, honors, and high honors levels (9th-Jewish Law, 10th-Chumash, 11th-Jewish Law, 12th-Jewish Thought). Minyan takes place once a week, with varied options such as traditional-egalitarian, yoga, social action, meditation, liberal, doubters, and others. An optional daily Mincha minyan is also offered. Through the Advanced Jewish Studies Center (AJSC), numerous Judaic electives are offered, including comparative religions, intensive Talmud study, comparative film, and others. The Kivun program, in which guest speakers lecture students on topics relating to Judaism, is offered throughout the year; students are required to attend one Kivun each semester.

Milken, unlike Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, does not directly affiliate itself with Reform Judaism or any stream of Judaism in specific. It aims to cater to all streams and levels of observance of Judaism.

Tiferet Israel Fellowship

Tiferet Israel Fellowship

In partnership with the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE), MCHS offers an opportunity for students to learn and live in Israel for the Spring semester of the 10th grade. Through a full academic program, schedule of tiyyulim (field study and trips), personalized Chuggim (individualized activities) and partnership with Israeli teens, Tiferet Israel Fellows learn inside and outside of the classroom and build relationships with the land and people of Israel. The semester abroad is followed by two years of additional programming. The junior year focuses on public presentation skills, training fellows how to best advocate for the State of Israel. The senior year concludes with an intensive seminar based at the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, examining Israeli cultural and political issues.

Student life

The school prides itself on several self-styled Centers of Excellence including the Stephen S. Wise Music Academy and Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, its Educational Technology and Broadcast Studio Program, its Wildcats Athletics Program, the Advanced Jewish Studies Center, and the Mitchell Academy of Science and Technology. Other student organizations include The Roar student newspaper, the student-run yearbook committee, the Writes of Passage literary club, the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), National Honor Society, WISE, the Friendship Circle Club, and Model United Nations, among others.

The school has a Mexico Exchange Program, an Israel Exchange Program (exclusively for the 8th Grade) and a four-month study abroad experience in Israel (for the 10th Grade), called the Tiferet Israel Fellowship, based at Alexander Muss High School.

The FIRST robotics team, the MilkenKnights,[2] has won four awards, including the Southern California rookie award in 2006 and the Los Angeles spirit award in 2008. In 2009, the team won the Los Angeles AutoDesk Visualization award in addition to ranking 23rd at championships. In 2010 the team became one of the first two American robotics teams to compete in the Israeli FIRST robotics regional and the only foreign team to have ever made it to the finals there.[3][4] Also during the 2010 season, the team captain for the 2009 and for the 2010 seasons, Nathan Schloss, became the first winner of Los Angeles regional "Dean's List Finalist" award. This is the only award in FIRST robotics that is awarded to individual students.[5]

The school has won at least one Pete Conrad Spirit Award for every year that the competition has been running.[6]

The track team, after expanding to over 60 team members in 2008, won the league champions for the third consecutive year.

The Milken basketball team has had success, as well:

  • CIF SS Playoffs 18 out of 19 years
  • 10 League Championships
  • Heritage League “Coach of the Year” 2003-2004
  • Four CIF SS Final Four Appearances (for three schools)
  • One CIF SS Championship
  • One State Finals Appearance

During the 2010 baseball season, the Wildcats reached the CIF Championship for the first time in Milken Baseball history, and only the second time in Milken history. However, the team lost to Cornerstone Christian of Camarillo 5-1. The game was played on the UC Riverside field.

In the Fall of 2011, after the previous year held an undefeated season and championship for the Wildcats' Flag Football team[7], Milken began to play tackle football in the Heritage League. They play their games on Thursday nights instead of the traditional Friday night because the latter is the Jewish Sabbath[8].

Many Wildcats have been NCAA athletes, and one, Benjamin Benditson, has been a professional athlete; he plays for MLS's Los Angeles Galaxy.[9]


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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